AGA in Women with Low Androgens
I'm often asked on various blogs and posts how it's possible to have androgenetic alopecia if a woman's androgen levels are normal or low. Many individuals have received a diagnosis of androgenetic alopecia and once their blood tests return normal, then have questions:
Is the diagnosis wrong?
How could I possibly have AGA if my androgens (testosterone, DHEAS, etc) is normal?
AGA in Women is best called FPHL
One must always keep in mind that androgenetic hair loss in women has much less to do with male hormones than it does in men. MOST women with AGA have normal hormone levels. In fact, about 90 % have normal hormone (androgen) levels. Treatments for AGA in women can still be helpful in many despite normal or low - normal levels. For this reason, many dermatologists choose to call female androgenetic alopecia "female pattern hair loss (FPHL)" rather than ANDROgenetic alopecia to de-emphasize the role of androgens.
There are many complex mechanisms that lead to the development of AGA in women. For many women, androgenetic alopecia has little to do with androgens. For some it has a lot to do with androgens and for some it probably has nothing to do with androgens.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299